Comfort Food

When a friend came for a visit couple of weeks ago she’d had a busy week. I thought she might need some comfort food so I made meatloaf. To my surprise she told me she had never made meatloaf. What? Meatloaf is the most versatile of dishes and the most comforting, I said as I launched into my meatloaf sales pitch.

We enjoyed meatloaf that night for dinner. The next day we ate cold meatloaf sandwiches. And I still had enough meatloaf left to make spaghetti with meat sauce the next day. She asked me for the recipe.

My favorite ground meat for making meatloaf is turkey. I add an egg, some breadcrumbs from the freezer or some oatmeal if I don’t have breadcrumbs. I chop up an onion, and throw in any leftovers I might have in the fridge. This could be chopped up celery, grated carrots, or something from the meal the previous day. Then I add the special sauce. Chili sauce, salsa, corn relish, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or whatever you have handy gets added, making this a very flexible dish. Peanut sauce can be good, or I had some smoky onion and pepper chutney I added one time. Mix it together, put it in a pan, and bake for an hour. The sauce adds some sweetness and means the top of the meatloaf gets a bit caramelized. Yummy.

When I started to add up the cost, this dish showed itself to be extremely economical. Ground turkey was on special for $3, an egg costs $.25, an onion $.30, breadcrumbs maybe $.50, and the sauce about $.75. I had some sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge and chopped them up adding another $.75. The total of $5.55 provided the meat portion of six meals. We had sweet potatoes and carrots with our meatloaf the first night. For lunch we bought olive ciabatta buns and enjoyed slabs of cold meatloaf with tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise and cheese. As we worked out the cost per meal of this marvelous concoction, we became giddy with the virtues of meatloaf.

Just before writing this blog, I made meatloaf again. It is cooking right this moment. I put black beans and barbecue sauce in this time. Because today was extremely hot, I took my easy bake oven onto the deck and plugged it in there. My meal is cooking and the heat is staying outside. I threw in a couple of sweet potatoes since I had the oven on already so I just need to steam the asparagus, and I am ready for dinner.

I love meatloaf and I wonder if there are any other meatloaf lovers out there. I welcome any tips you want to share.

That is what’s on my mind today, what do you think?

Victoria Ryce

avatarAuthor Bio ~ RycePapers (122 Posts)

I am a former stockbroker, banker, international corporate trainer, and community shared agriculture worker. Have a Master's Degree in Human Systems Intervention (people and change). A big recycler, dog lover, reader, author of two books and yoga chick. Widowed and living in the country. Grow my own tomatoes and garlic to make salsa. Yummy.


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15 Responses to “Comfort Food”

  1. I’ve been eating and making meatloaf since I was child. My mother had my sister and I making it since we were eight or nine. Cold meatloaf sandwiches went to work in my father’s lunchbox. You added what leftovers were in the fridge, and often dried onion soup mix.
    Nowadays I like salsa in my meatloaf as it’s a quick and easy way to add lots of flavour. Taco seasoning works too. Some shredded cheese is also good. I usually bake it in a loaf pan but sometimes I just shape it into a loaf in the middle of a shallow baking pan. That way the sides are also exposed so a crispy crust forms on both top and sides, especially good if you first brush all the outside with ketchup. Other times I make individual portions using muffin tins or individual loaf pans that are just one person size.
    Lamb works well in a meatloaf but you need different spices such as cumin, cinnamon and coriander.
    Chimichurri sauce or spicy mango chutney go well with meatloaf, but ketchup always works as a condiment.

  2. I have always disliked traditional meatloaf – it had all the things I don;t enjoy: crunchy onions, tomatoes in any way (sauce, whole, etc), celery, etc. But my husband loves meatloaf, so I thought I should try and find one that I would eat so he could have it and I didn;t have to make something else for myself. That’s when I came up with turkey meatloaf with pesto! I put in the egg and breadcrumbs, cook up shallots and garlic to throw in, add a few heaping tablespoons of pesto and some grated parmesan cheese and mix it up. The oil in the pesto keeps the turkey from drying out without having to put anything on top. It cooks up beautifully and I really enjoy it! I also like that it is leaner than beef or pork, which is better for us. It’s a great option for a different flavour.

    I did promise to try and find a recipe that uses beef and/or pork that I might like… any suggestions for one that doesn’t involve any tomato based sauses??

  3. I made meatloaf a couple of times in my life. I wasn’t overly excited about my creations. I preferred to do smaller meatballs instead. I tended to eat less this way.

    I find, with family, if I make a larger meal…we eat more…waistline rises and so do the bills!

    My mom has a knack for making foods taste soooo good…and I have a knack for making good food taste like sawdust :( .

    One thing mom puts in her hamburger that I just LOVE, is millet! It makes for a very lean tasting meat and the texture was lovely.

    Your turkey loaf does sound awesome! Our family goes nuts for asparagus as well :)

    • avatar Victoria R Says:
      May 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Rose, I always love your honesty. Although, I am sure your food isn’t sawdust. You and your family are still alive after meals, right? ;-)

  4. The cafeteria where I worked several years ago served what I called “Christmas Meatloaf”. Red on the top and green on the bottom. :( I am not a big meatloaf fan. Being vegetarian we make a (non) meat loaf with TVP eggs and vegies.

    • avatar Victoria R Says:
      May 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      lew, i can picture the cheery Christmas loaf. Maybe a layer of spinach next time? All of this is sounding delicious.

  5. @HVR

    Meatloaf with tomato sauce (or Ketchup – ick) has never suited my fancy either.

    I make mine with 2lb lean beef and a packet of meatloaf seasoning (I think it is made by Club House). I follow the directions on the back re amount of milk, breadcrumbs and egg to add, as well as the cooking directions. I like to add garlic, finely chopped onion (white and/or green) and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Turns out yummy! I smother it in a mushroom gravy and serve with potatoes.

    • avatar Victoria R Says:
      May 29, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Cheryl, count me in for the mushroom gravy and i forgot about how delicious worcestershire sauce can be. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. It was so so good!!!!!
    So I am also going to make it and I will add lentils just to increase the fibre and protein. I still can’t believe how easy it was to make and how delicious it tasted. I think my fav though is the cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day!!!

    Thanks for sharing ;-)

  7. avatar nadjam123 Says:
    June 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Here is my recipe:
    1 1/2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef
    1 Cup Coarsely Crushed Shredded Wheat Cereal
    1 1/4 Cups Milk
    1 Egg
    1 Chopped onion
    1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
    1/4 Teaspoons Pepper
    1/4 Teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
    1 to 2 Teaspoons Beef Bovril

    I mix all this together and throw it into the crockpot. As odd as it is to combine poultry seasoning with beef, it is truly spectacular. My family loves it, and it’s awesome hot or cold.

  8. avatar HeidiPG Says:
    June 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Funny you should ask – just last week! It was the easiest thing to do with what was on hand and I was heading out for a 6pm class at the college. My son’s best friend was around at supper time as they were off to a movie so I invited her to sit down for an early supper with us – she said she had never eaten meatloaf as her father HATES it. She was a bit cautious taking a serving but after a few bites she looked at me and said “why would my Dad hate this?” – well, dear girl, it could be that he hasn’t had good meatloaf, yet. She left with my ‘recipe’ in hand. Well my recipe is as best I can estimate what I do with my eyes closed, but I stressed she needed to season properly – onions, garlic, , big dollop of dijon mustard for flavour and salt and pepper with breadcrumbs for texture, egg for glue is the minimum needed to make good meatloaf. This time was beef and pork, could be something completely different next time.

  9. avatar Harry Martin Says:
    June 4, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    A great tip when using ground beef for the meatloaf is to put bread slices on the bottom of the pan to soak up some grease.

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